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Settlement For Family Of Ninety-Year-Old Woman Who Died After Twice Being Attacked In Care Home

Enid Gregory “never the same person” after attacks which left her in hospital


The daughter of a woman who died after twice being physically assaulted by a dementia sufferer in the care home where she lived has been awarded an undisclosed settlement for her mother’s suffering.

Jill Gregory says her mother Enid was never the same person following the two assaults committed eight days apart by another female resident at the Grove House residential care home in Ashover, Derbyshire, on December 18, 2012. Her health deteriorated and she lost her independence, mobility and dignity.

Jill instructed specialist personal injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate whether more could have been done by owners of the home, Peak Care, to prevent her mother’s suffering extensive bruising, muscle damage and, ultimately, death.

The courts awarded Jill an undisclosed settlement when the insurers from Peak Care failed to acknowledge or attend proceedings.

Jill, 61, said: “I have always believed the trauma resulting from the attacks led to a rapid deterioration in my mother’s physical and mental health.

“My mother was very settled at Grove House and was generally healthy, mentally alert and independent for a 90-year-old woman. That quickly changed after she was attacked and she never returned to being the woman I recognised as my mother.

“She was never able to walk again without the assistance of a nurse or carer.

“Doctors told me that the trauma of the assaults was likely to have impacted on her physical and mental health. In my view she should never have been the victim of assault in the room which had become her home and where she should have been safe from harm.

“I wanted answers from the care home about why more wasn’t done to protect my mother, especially after the first attack. I would like reassurances from Peak Care that steps have been taken to prevent similar incidents happening in the future.

“I’m obviously disappointed that little seems to have been done by Peak Care to acknowledge its failings or act upon them to secure the safety of other residents.

“I’m grateful to Irwin Mitchell for investigating the circumstances around my mother’s care and now the matter is closed I look forward to remembering my mother during better times.”

Enid suffered a severe heart attack caused by septicaemia and pneumonia, and died on April 17, 2013, aged 91, at the Royal Chesterfield Hospital.

An unannounced Care Quality Commission Inspection of Grove House in May this year concluded that the service provided at the home was not always safe.

“The provider could not be assured that the risk assessment associated with people’s safety were up to date and reviewed regularly,” the report read, although “people and their relatives told us that the home was safe.”

The inspection, designed to assess whether service at the home was safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led said that all five areas required improvement.

Katy Bailey, an expert personal injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell’s Sheffield office, said: “Jill watched her mother go from a strong woman in relatively good health, to see her deteriorate so quickly, following the attack.

“The attacks which Enid suffered eight days apart were frightening and it was important to find out whether more could have been done by Peak Care to prevent them occurring, particularly in the case of the second assault, given that they were already aware of the first assault.

“It appears that despite Enid’s suffering, Peak Care has done little to acknowledge that more could have been done to keep her safe, or make changes to ensure this horrific incident is not repeated with others under their care.

“Their failure to engage with proceedings is particularly concerning.”

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